publish date 2022-03-05 14:45:15
Drinking enough water daily is a simple practice that has many health benefits, from improving memory to aiding the absorption of nutrients and increasing energy.
According to experts, it is necessary to know the sufficient amount of water daily to ensure that these benefits are obtained, as drinking water in the wrong way may cause what is known as “water intoxication”.
Water intoxication occurs when you drink so much water that your kidneys can’t get rid of it fast enough, so they begin to dilute electrolytes, mainly sodium, in your blood.
Although this is rare, water intoxication can lead to death if not treated immediately.
Here are the symptoms of water intoxication and how it is generally treated.
Excessive amount of water
Water intoxication is a serious and severe condition because sodium levels in the blood drop rapidly, causing neurological changes such as hallucinations and confusion.
Adults need to drink about 2.7 to 3.7 liters of fluid a day, which comes from water, other drinks and food.
Water intoxication may occur from drinking more than three to four liters of water over a short period, such as an hour or two, according to Lewis Nelson, chief of emergency medicine at Rutgers College of Medicine in New Jersey.
No specific amount of fluid is unsafe, however, the risk of water poisoning varies depending on how often you drink it, your age, your gender, and your general health.
Essentially, Nelson says, water intoxication is a neurological syndrome. Too much water can cause the brain to swell and disrupt normal functions.
Early symptoms of water intoxication may include:
Headache – confusion – nausea – vomiting – forgetfulness
If not treated right away, it can lead to other symptoms, such as:
– Slurred speech – Hallucinations – Muscle spasms – Impaired brain function – Seizures – Coma.
Water intoxication tends to occur among adults who run marathons, do military exercises, and have mental health conditions such as polydipsia (also known as compulsive water drinking) or schizophrenia. However, it can also develop in children.
Babies under the age of six months are not allowed to drink water because they have small stomachs and their kidneys have not yet developed. If they are given water or the infant formula is diluted excessively, they may suffer from water intoxication. Symptoms of their condition include vomiting, irritability and seizures.
How to treat water poisoning
Water intoxication can be fatal, and it requires immediate treatment. “Patients with water intoxication have a medical emergency and must be brought to the hospital for necessary care,” explains Nelson. “We will usually need to stop their seizures, give them a solution containing concentrated sodium, and support their breathing. The patient will need intravenous electrolytes and other medications to restore the sodium concentration. normal in the blood.
It is noteworthy that the death rate for water poisoning patients is estimated at 7.1%.
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